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There is little more embarrassing in business than communicating poorly to your boss - or your boss's boss. We have all experienced moments early in our careers where we have had to communicate with important people and not known how to go about it.

We marvel at those around us who can get to the right point quickly in so many circumstances and yet so often muff it ourselves.

Mostly, experience teaches us how to communicate clearly with aplomb, but sometimes that experience comes at a cost of embarrassment that we would prefer to avoid.

We have collated our experience of more than 40 years' of communicating and teaching others to communicate to provide you with this easy-to-use primer full of principles and templates to help you prepare your next progress report, or management update in three steps:

•  Understand your audience
•  Select the right argument structure
•  Check your story works

We have also thrown in a link to a video that provides a quick snapshot of the structured thinking techniques that underpin the approach we have used to prepare the examples and templates in this pack.

The newly expanded pack is 31 pages in total and is separated into these three sections plus an appendix with some extra resources:

Understanding your audience

•  Some simple and practical thoughts about tailoring your progress report for different types of people based on the Bolton and Bolton Work Styles approach
•  A checklist to help you think about your audience before you start communicating (some questions to ask sorted into three categories, which focus on: who you audience really is, what they need from you and how you should tell them)

Selecting the right argument structure

•  Five of the most commonly used storyline patterns, each accompanied by notes on when to use each one as well as a detailed example and a one-page neosi storyline template. The templates can be used to create your own one-pagers when you plan for your next update meeting or plan an email or more formal progress report.

Checking your story works

•  An annotated example that demonstrates how you can convert your update from storyline form into an email
•  A checklist to help you check whether you think your communication 'hits the right spot' for this particular audience this time


•  A handy one-pager with the four most commonly used progress update storyline patterns
•  Another bonus one-pager with five deductive storyline examples (given deductive structures are the hardest ones to get right)
•  Access to a short online clarity module that provides an overview to the structured thinking theory that underpins this approach.

It was prepared by Clarity College, a group of communication specialists who were initially trained by McKinsey & Company and who now consult to a wide range of corporate, consulting and government clients globally.

Got a question about the product? Email us at [email protected] or ask the author directly by using the form to the right. If you cannot view the preview above this document description, go here to view the large preview instead.

Source: Progress Report Primer PowerPoint document


Progress Report Primer

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File Type: PowerPoint (pptx)

File Size: 1.1 MB

Number of Slides: 31 (includes cover, transition slides)

Related Topic(s): Communications Strategy Progress Report

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Initial upload date (first version): Feb 28, 2013
Most recent version published: Jul 13, 2016

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